I imagine there are people who like the sound of their 3D printers grinding away with tones from old video games. But, if you prefer to have a silent model, the technology exists. Whether you are running a Delta or Cartesian 3D Printer, vibration dampers for NEMA 17 motors are where it is at, or isn’t.
What is a vibration damper and why do I need it? Well you don’t need it but it makes for a nice, inexpensive upgrade that will produce higher quality prints because of the reduction in vibration. And.. it makes your printer nice to be around.
This upgrade will give a machine that is noticeably quieter than your stock printer. I have 2 to 3 printers going at the same time and don’t notice them while I am working.
Difficulty: Easy+ / 5-10 minutes per motor
Things to know..
1.) Nubs or no nubs.. We don’t like nubs! Nubs get in the way. I purchased some Vibration Dampers from Ebay, and I got nubs and they have to be removed in order to use.
See the nubs circled in black above.
Also note, the bigger holes are used to connect to the motor. The smaller threaded holes are used to screw into the damper from the mount.
2.) Your motor used to connect to the bracket directly with 4 screws. When you install the damper, 2 screws go into the motor, 2 screws go into the motor mount. Because of this, you may need different size screws, when my stock screws did not work, I used 6MM M3 screws.
Vibration Dampers on a Cartesian Printer
You only need 2!
One for the X, one for the Y. You will probably need some extra M3 Screws for the additional length.
I have read that you may want one on the Extruder(s) but I don’t see any value in it thus, I didn’t do it.
Let’s get to it.
Step 1: Power off your printer.
Step 2: Remove your X axis motor. Loosen the set screws on the drive gear, remove the belt, remove 4 screws.
NOTE: This is a probably a good time to plug the ole’ Loctite Blue Stick. Just a little dab will do and your parts won’t come loose until you want them to.
Step 3: Install Vibration Damper on motor; 2 screws to the motor.
Step 4: Install motor with damper on mount on the bracket.
Step 5: Install drive gear and tighten set screws.
Repeat steps 2, 3, 4 and 5 with the Y axis motor.
Step 6: Turn your printer back on
Step 7: Starting printing in peace!
Vibration Dampers on a Delta Printer
You need 3 Vibration Dampers and some patience. The screws are typically harder to get to. You may need tweezers to get the screws back into place.
You need one for X, Y, and Z.
Damper install correctly.
Step 1: Power off your printer.
Step 2: Loosen/remove your belts.
Step 3: Patiently remove your X axis motor; Loosen the set screws on the drive gear, remove the belt, remove 4 screws.
Step 4: Install Vibration Damper on your motor; 2 screws into the motor.
Step 5: Install the motor and damper on printer; 2 screws into the mount, reinstall drive gear, tighten set screws.
Note: this is tricky and takes some patience and probably requires a long allen wrench than was provided with your printer.
Repeat Step 3, 4 and 5 for Y and Z axis motors.
Step 6: Tighten/install belts.
Step 7: Turn your printer back on
Step 8: Starting printing in peace!
Now you can go back to listening to music, the news or whatever floats your boat.